I don’t know what you call GDP coming in negative 1.6 percent for the quarter when the consensus was growth of 2.1 percent, but it certainly is a shock. That, following a 7.1 percent fall in the second quarter! The first quarter showed an increase of 6.7 percent.
The second planned sales tax hike is now unlikely to happen. More importantly, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not going to declare Abenomics a failure; if anything this will likely accelerate demands for even more monetary easing.
According to Davy Research, the bulk of the decline was caused by business destocking, a temporary response to the dip in consumer spending in the second quarter.
Maybe. But Japan is a big producer of machinery used in Chinese factories. That is stoking some concern that China may have slowed down its order rate, raising questions about China’s 7 percent GDP.
Remember Abe’s “three arrows”: fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reform. He hasn’t done much with his “third arrow” to make it easier for foreign and domestic entrepreneurs to open new businesses. You will likely hear more about that.
Also in Asia, the much-discussed Shanghai-Hong Kong stock exchange link went live Sunday night. David Friedland at Interactive Brokers Hong Kong office said trading appeared to have gone off without a hitch.
Read More China’s stock market cracks open
I wrote about this long-proposed link and the potential benefits last week on Trader Talk.
1) Happy 10th birthday, GLD! On Nov. 18, 2004, the SPDR Gold Trust began trading at the NYSE. It was a somewhat novel idea, tying an ETF price to gold. Actual ownership was in a trust backed by gold held in a vault in London, also a somewhat novel idea that generated considerable skepticism. Although gold is well off its historic high $1,907 in September 2011, and the assets under management have shrunk to $27.5 billion, it has proven to be a sturdy vehicle.
2) The Baker Hughes-Halliburton deal came together Monday morning. The deal values Baker Hughes at $78.62 per share. Baker Hughes stockholders get 1.12 shares of Halliburton and $19 for each share of BHI.
More importantly, there was plenty of speculation over the weekend about other oil service companies that might be looking to partner, including other big names like National Oilwell Varco, Weatherford, RPC and C&J Energy.